PostHeaderIcon Demographic Apocalypse

We can’t seem to entice much interest in discussing more weighty matters beyond the Incumbrepublocrat kabuki dance; but I’ll try one more time. When I wrote my “Dark Ages II” essay nine years ago – around the time that some of us first met online – much of it was partially inspired by my recently having read Mark Steyn’s, “America Alone.”

He has just posted a thoughtful 10-year followup article on the subject, “It’s Still the Demography, Stupid,” which is well worth reading and pondering:

Ten years ago this month – January 2006 – The Wall Street Journal and The New Criterion published my first draft of what would become the thesis of my bestselling book, America Alone. The Journal headline sums it up: “It’s the Demography, Stupid.” Opening paragraph:

“Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands–probably–just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.”

Hmm… it seems that I can’t nest quotes, so I will put the passages he is quoting in his recent article in italics. It is well worth going and reading the whole thing anyway. 🙂

The argument was straightforward. The western world is going out of business because it’s given up having babies. The 20th century welfare state, with its hitherto unknown concepts such as spending a third of your adult lifetime in “retirement”, is premised on the basis that there will be enough new citizens to support the old. But there won’t be. Lazy critics of my thesis thought that I was making a “prediction”, and that my predictions were no more reliable than Al Gore’s or Michael Mann’s on the looming eco-apocalypse. I tried to explain that it’s not really a prediction at all:

“When it comes to forecasting the future, the birthrate is the nearest thing to hard numbers. If only a million babies are born in 2006, it’s hard to have two million adults enter the workforce in 2026 (or 2033, or 2037, or whenever they get around to finishing their Anger Management and Queer Studies degrees). And the hard data on babies around the Western world is that they’re running out a lot faster than the oil is. “Replacement” fertility rate–i.e., the number you need for merely a stable population, not getting any bigger, not getting any smaller–is 2.1 babies per woman. Some countries are well above that: the global fertility leader, Somalia, is 6.91, Niger 6.83, Afghanistan 6.78, Yemen 6.75. Notice what those nations have in common?

“Scroll way down to the bottom of the Hot One Hundred top breeders and you’ll eventually find the United States, hovering just at replacement rate with 2.07 births per woman. Ireland is 1.87, New Zealand 1.79, Australia 1.76. But Canada’s fertility rate is down to 1.5, well below replacement rate; Germany and Austria are at 1.3, the brink of the death spiral; Russia and Italy are at 1.2; Spain 1.1, about half replacement rate. That’s to say, Spain’s population is halving every generation. By 2050, Italy’s population will have fallen by 22%.”

Those were astonishing statistics when I first read them. Yet, they explain a lot regarding inexplicable immigration policy, when one ponders them:

Enter Islam, which sportingly volunteered to be the children we couldn’t be bothered having ourselves, and which kind offer was somewhat carelessly taken up by the post-Christian west. As I wrote a decade ago:

“The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyperrationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism. Indeed, in its reliance on immigration to ensure its future, the European Union has adopted a 21st-century variation on the strategy of the Shakers, who were forbidden from reproducing and thus could increase their numbers only by conversion.”

That didn’t work out too great for the Shakers, but the Europeans figured it would be a piece of cake for them: “westernization” is so seductive, so appealing that, notwithstanding the occasional frothing imam and burka-bagged crone, their young Muslims would fall for the siren song of secular progressivism just like they themselves had. So, as long as you kept the immigrants coming, there would be no problem – as long as you oomphed up the scale of the solution. As I put it:

“To avoid collapse, European nations will need to take in immigrants at a rate no stable society has ever attempted.”

Last year, Angela Merkel decided to attempt it…

That should be more than enough of a teaser. Go read it.

Then ponder this: Does this explain why our own Federal government is hell-bent on increasing immigration here, even though the vast majority of natives are opposed to it? Is this really much different than States like Texas bending over backwards to attract new residents and businesses from other States? To a native Texan, is there much difference between a Californian coming to take local jobs, than a Mexican?

Since there is no such thing as a Social Security trust fund, or a ‘Lock Box’ that contains anything but IOU’s, current SS payments always come from current SS taxes on current wages. We are already down to less than three workers for every retired person, and the trend is heading much lower than that. Without all the recent immigrants and their higher birth rates, the SSI Ponzi scheme would already be over.

Now, which issue is more important? Trumps conservative credentials, Cruz’ NBC status, or the apocalyptic demographic trends, which are still being ignored by nearly everyone, even after Steyn’s best seller was written 10 years ago? ◄Dave►

11 Responses to “Demographic Apocalypse”

  • Chris says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the inclination of the democrats is to raise a sustainable population of workers. Those are the same democrats that do everything in their power to discourage Americans from replenishing themselves. They push things like free birth control, unrestricted abortion, and gay lifestyle. (yes I believe even that push is designed to curb western reproduction) Theirs is a globalist view. “We have all these poor people over here so we can just put them over their and it’s all good”.

    Their collectivist policies have made it financially impossible for the masses of breeding age in America to provide a sustainable living for a family of four or more with one breadwinner. Forcing both potential parents in a family to seek employment during their most reproductive years is not a strategy for population growth. They praise the nobility of a potential mother having a career and ridicule anyone who wishes to compromise a career for the sake of family. Anyone who thinks that way must be suffering some sort of oppression. Create the ability for one parent to be in the home (No I don’t care which one. See how progressive I am?) and guess what? Unemployment solved. Wage stagnation solved. That can only be accomplished with good paying blue collar jobs. Jobs that don’t require a new family to start out with $100,000 in student loan debt and a four year late start on earning. One thing Trump is right about is we have to get our jobs back. Him doing it in a productive way is questionable.

    Importing population to provide a workforce to support a thinning workforce only works if those being imported are suitable for the employment base available. That’s where they don’t get it. The proponents of this activity think all cultures are equal in ambition and ability. The ability part would be true if we had anywhere near a manufacturing base left in the country and the immigrants didn’t want to stop the line every two hours to put their asses in the air. (only one example)They assume that every immigrant wants to come here and work hard their whole life paying into the system that will make things all good. Problem is it’s not like that. If you get one that just wants to take advantage of the generosity of the nanny state you probably have to import four or more that actually want to work to break even. There are darn few non-western cultures with work ethic comparable to the American ethic even as badly as it has slipped these days. The ones that have it are prospering themselves so people don’t want to leave. For too many of them the relatively comfortable existence provided by the nanny state is a whole lot better than what they had. They are living large and that’s good enough. All they are doing is importing the poverty from Sudan to the US because for now it’s a better class of poverty.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Chris, I need more time than I have at the moment to compose a proper response to your excellent analysis here. One quick thing though, is to suggest that your first sentence should reference “Incumbrepublocrats,” not just Democrats. Big government elitists, with a paternalistic attitude toward managing the sheeple, are by no means limited to the Democrat wing any more. The Globalist viewpoint and collectivist policies are as acceptable to the modern GOPe as the socialists. No? More to follow… ◄Dave►

    • ◄Dave► says:

      I’m not sure where to begin, Chris. From your perspective, you have correctly identified many of the inherent ills of the altruistic and paternalistic policies supporting the evils of collectivism, multiculturalism, and globalism. For these wannabe shepherds of the well-sheared sheeple, whatever the perceived problem, more government is the solution.

      From my own increasingly anarchistic perspective, all those are simply subsets of the primary evil of statism. Not one problem you mentioned could not be solved by simply eliminating the state itself. Eliminate the welfare state, and the only immigrants we attract, would be those desiring to take advantage of the opportunities for hard work to pay off, in the natural market of laissez-faire capitalism. For all manner of reasons, most would welcome this class of immigrants, who are not looking for welfare subsidies, and would generally be switched on enough to see the advantages of assimilating into our culture.

      Absent the coercive power of the state, I think even the social issues of abortion, contraception, homosexuality, etc. that you mention would fade. Those who wanted the option of an abortion could always get one, because there would be no state to ever prevent it. Those who didn’t want one, could never be forced to have one, in a stateless society. Of course, the Piously Correct folks might lament that someone they don’t even know living 2,000 mi. away has an abortion; but there would be no mechanism for them to rearrange the coercive power of government to prevent it. On the other hand, there would be no way for the Politically Correct busybodies to prevent prayer, or the teaching of Biblical Creation, in the unregulated private schools of a community 2,000 mi. away either. That seems a fair trade.

      I think tribal groupings would naturally evolve. Religious folks might gravitate to pious communities. Progressives would prefer to have progressive neighbors. Homosexuals would be out and proud in San Francisco, et al; but might decide it in their best interest to closet themselves in rural America, because there would be no government to protect them from those they might offend out there. For all the progress they have made in being accepted in our culture, there are still plenty of places where the sight of two men making out in public is likely to get somebody hurt. In any case, it would be their choice, and the same could be said of any other abnormal public lifestyle choices. An armed society is necessarily a polite society. One cannot count on the odds always being in ones favor, for getting away with deliberately offending a stranger.

      You have correctly identified the collectivist policies as the culprit in the cost of raising a family. Eliminate all of the taxes imposed by governments at every level, and one parent could easily support a larger family. Moreover, without the government welfare and the retirement Ponzi schemes of SSI and Medicare, it wouldn’t much matter if they didn’t! A fluctuating birth rate would not be a fiscal catastrophe to anyone, if everyone were required to provide for themselves, including in retirement. We would no longer have to have a growth economy for the individual to prosper. Inflation itself would disappear, without the government mandating that we use ever-inflating fiat currency, to pay our debts and taxes. My dad had no problem raising four kids with a stay-at-home mom, in a house we owned, with two cars in the garage, on construction worker wages in the $3 per hour range, back before governments got so voracious.

      As for getting our jobs back, eliminate all business taxes and regulations by governments, and America could easily become a manufacturing dynamo again, although the good manufacturing jobs in the future, are likely to be in robotic programming, maintenance, and repair. At least until the robots learn to do these chores for themselves. In any case, for better or worse, the attraction of cheap labor overseas for manufacturing, is about to end in a robotic explosion anyway. Absent government coercion to prevent technological progress that displaces employment, future workers will need to be nimble and prepared at all times, for rapid job obsolescence. If survival is at stake, they naturally will.

      Anyway, the inexorable demographic death spiral is well underway in America, and nothing could change that inescapable fact in this year’s election. There is absolutely nothing anyone could do to reverse the trends and somehow return America to its Constitutional Republic roots. Playing the oligarch’s rigged game in the Incumbrepublocrat kabuki theater for the sheeple, will never work to return individual sovereignty and Liberty to those of us who still desire them. The only hope is to somehow break the Federation into 50 or more pieces, so that we can get DC off our backs at least. We the People, might be able to control a smaller government closer to home; but the Feds are beyond any such control ever again. If the sovereign States are still too oppressive, then let’s break them up into sovereign counties. If that doesn’t work to get responsive government, then let’s go for outright anarchy. Anything would be better than the oppressive tyranny we currently suffer. ◄Dave►

      • Chris says:

        Quite correct sir but we are already broke up into fifty. The federal government just doesn’t realize it any more. A question for you. How far do you think a balanced budget amendment would go toward the restoration of federalism? I position this question on the basis that states can’t print money and many if not most have limitations on the extent of their borrowing capabilities and have bba’s in their own constitutions. I submit that it is the federal governments largess with both printed and borrowed money that buys the states capitulation with big brother. One of two things would happen. That largess would either dry up or the more wealthy states would get tired of footing the whole bill in short order. To balance the budget without drastic cuts taxation would skyrocket. I think that would be a good start. Combine that with dumping the 17th amendment and big brother DC would be pretty close to neutered. I know this may seem a bit off topic but it really isn’t. It’s all well weaved together. With a neutered DC states could even say what “refugees” they wanted to accept because they would have to fund them.

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Dave..even tho my memory seems to fail me at times I have always remembered your Dark Ages essay and the discussion. This latest is a reminder to me that the outcome of our political process will likely have little impact on the longer term result produced by the Muslim reproduction rate.

    Perhaps the only saving grace to the demographic reality is that the tribal nature of the muslim culture seems to produce a significant offset to the birthrate because of the many massacres and wars. As I recall, the Iraq/Iran war cost about 1 million lives. If you add the potential of Cruz turning Syria and parts of Iraq into “glowing sand” at least the process will be slowed a bit.

    Then if we continue to organize the Arab coalition into an effective fighting force we can pursue a policy of containment for the entire region and let them and Iran periodically reduce their populations thru war.

    Of course, that answer does tend to ignore Indonesia….but…well, I’ll work on that one later.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Unfortunately, the realities of Muslim culture are already being experienced by the native women of Europe. How soon before their rape sport is being played here, once Obama imports another reported 300,000 of them? That is not exactly consistent with a strategy to contain them in their own sandbox, glowing or not.

      Once here, of course, they will start cranking out Muslim anchor babies like there is no tomorrow, because each one will increase their welfare payments. Say, I wonder… am I being Politically Incorrect or Piously Incorrect, in disparaging Muslim immigrants? 😉 ◄Dave►

  • Troy Robinson says:

    To a native Texan, is there much difference between a Californian coming to take local jobs, than a Mexican?

    Lots. The Californian probably just sold his/her CA mansion for a jillion dollars which they reinvest here in TX, running our property values into the stratosphere.

    Troy

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